Air India gets respite from Devas Multimedia
Air India has won the approval of an appeals court in Quebec to challenge a Canadian court order that allowed foreign investors in Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia to seize its funds to recover compensation for a failed 2005 satellite agreement with Antrix Corporation, a commercial arm of Isro.
In a February 11 ruling, Judge Christine Baudouin agreed with Air India that the court should take a closer look at the claim brought by three Mauritius investors and the German major Deutsche Telekom to identify the airline as an alternative to Government of India to facilitate recovery of compensations awarded by international tribunals over the failed satellite deal.
“Without expressing an opinion on the merits or on the chances of success in appeal, I am satisfied that the present matter is one that should be submitted to the court,” Judge Baudouin wrote in a brief order. She set a hearing in the case for May 13.
Earlier this month, a US federal court for the southern district of New York stayed proceedings to identify Air India as an alter ego of India and to find its assets in the US to facilitate recovery of compensation awarded by international tribunals.
The shareholders — CC/Devas (Mauritius) Ltd, Devas Employees Mauritius Pvt Ltd and Telecom Devas Mauritius Ltd — have been targeting government assets abroad to recover a total of $1.3 billion compensation they won in three different arbitrations initiated over the nixed deal to deliver communications services throughout India.
On January 8, 2022, they got a ruling from a Superior Court in the Quebec region of Canada to seize 50 per cent of Air India’s funds being held by the International Air Transport Authority, a Montreal-based trade association, for the world’s airlines that facilitates payment of air navigation charges billed to airlines and countries.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) will “scrupulously” carry out a thorough background check of newly appointed CEO and MD of Air India, Ilker Ayci, a Turkish national, official sources said on Sunday.
The Tata Group, which acquired Air India from the government, had recently announced Ayci’s appointment as the CEO and MD of the loss-making airlines.
The home ministry “scrupulously” carries out a thorough background check of all foreign nationals when they are appointed in the key positions of any Indian company, the sources said. It will be the same process for the newly appointed Ayci, they said.